In this third installment of RFF I am going to be breaking down the 2003 Florida at Miami game. Yes this is the 2nd time I have included the U in this feature but seeing as I have no idea who actually reads these things I am just doing games that please me. (I might just turn this feature into reviewing Miami games from 2000-03.) I figured since the two programs will be playing each other this Saturday why not relive a classic from their on-mainly off again rivalry…
Announcers: Brad Nessler and Brian Griese
The Situation: #3 Miami had just lost to the Red team the year prior in the National Championship and was replacing some veterans, mainly QB Ken Dorsey. The Canes started Brock Berlin at QB who had actually transferred from Florida after he had lost the job to Rex Grossman 2 years prior. (Strange think as Grossman good now.) The Gators were then under 2nd year coach Ron Zook and I am pretty sure fireronzook.com was alive and well at this point. They had gone 8-5 his first year and a lot of their hopes rested on true freshman QB Chris Leak’s shoulders. (Yes thats right.)
Florida: QB Ingle Martin actually started the game and Chris Leak played as well. The Gators had a trio of RBs in Ran Carthon, Deshawn Wynn and Ciatrick Fason. WR Andre Caldwell and TE Ben Troupe did they best they could with what they had to work with.
Miami: QB Brock Berlin, RBs Frank Gore and Jarrett Payton, WRs Roscoe Parish and Devin Hester, TE Kellen Winslow (Yes, the soldier year) DL Vince Wilfork, LBs Jonathan Vilma DJ Williams, DB Sean Taylor (RIP)
Where Was I: Staying in on a Saturday night to watch this game. (Some things don’t change) This game was intriguing because of Berlin but also because both coaches were a train wreck.
:57: Awesome steam or flower entrance by the U
1:16: Devin Hester with an opening kickoff return and helmet removal. He really is the total package as a return man. Talent plus knows how to take over a moment.
2:15: Jonathan Vilma with the decleater presumably not for money.
3:00: The Gators try to avoid Sean Taylor and instead kick to Sean Taylor who has an absurd return. I miss him so much.
3:45: Chris Leak sighting. Also Chris Leak sacked sighting.
4:10: Somehow Florida is up 33-10 and its in the 3Q. Ron Zook has this power
4:25: Brock Berlin hits a wide open Kevin Beard and then Winslow on the 2 pt conversion. Its 33-18. Just where Ron Zook wants them.
5:50: Kevin Beard is a superstar. Or at least he should have been one.
6:20: Frank GOre TD run makes is 33-25. Gore would of course shred his knee later in the season as is the right of all Miami RBs. (Hopefully not you Duke Johnson.)
6:30: Chris Leak Sack alert
7:15: Big time recruit Ryan Moore with the TD and the “bow” celebration. This would cost his team a chance at a 2 point conversion but in fairness it is the U so you have a celebration history to live up to.
7:47: This is the drive Brock Berlin was born to have. (Only it was to lead the Gators to victory not beat them and cover the land in darkness.)
8:14: Frank Gore TD and the comeback is now complete. 38-33 the U
8:34: Emo Kellen Winslow celebration
8:43: Game clinching Chris Leak interception
9:15: Eff U clebrash toss by Brock Berlin. “Thats how we celebrate at the U he says.”
Fallout From the Game: Miami would reel off five more victories before losing to Virginia Tech in Lane Stadium and then to Tennessee on consecutive weeks. They would however, beat Florida State twice in one season. Thus fulfilled Chris Rix’s destiny to lose to Miami 5 times.
The Gators went on to lose four more times including said Chris Rix and the Seminoles as well as Iowa in a bowl game. The Gator fans would only have to endure one more Zook season before he was jettisoned to Champaign, Illinois.